To temper intellect with emotion

The first light snow, innocent and small, building and climbing. Sarah Ruhl contemplates, “A suspicion that lightness is not deeply serious (but instead whimsical) pervades aesthetic discourse. But what if lightness is a philosophical choice to temper reality with strangeness, to temper the intellect with emotion, and to temper emotion with humor. Lightness is then a philosophical victory over heaviness. A reckoning with the humble and the small and the invisible.”

He told me once that perhaps the automation of the decisions he has to make with his intellect will allow for more room in his life. “More room? To think more?” I wondered. “No, of course the goal is to make as much room as possible for feeling more.”

A month later, walking through the 30-feet high banks of snow, my eyes buried in a book. Accompanied by heaviness that trudges in with the cold and makes its home across the middle of winter. Heaviness, one could call it, or instead choosing to see lightness in it as a different response to the same thing.

Later, discourse on the philosophy of language and how it applies to water. His homemade shakshuka paired with my curious feeling of pursuing home, as if it were a thing with legs that could choose to dodge me. That there is divinity in the unknown. The acknowledgement of a thing versus an acceptance. The question of, “Are you interested in the way he would dance tango, if he learned? The kind of leader he would be, and how he would dance?”

I tempered intellect with emotion.
Not so much a need for knowing as a desire to experience, I realized.
Because I already know exactly how he would dance if he did learn.

Kinnell declared, “It’s the poet’s job to figure out what’s happening within oneself, to figure out the connection between the self and the world, and to get it down in words that have a certain shape, that have a chance of lasting.”

I write because I’m chasing an immortality in the certain mortality of our love. You insist that it exists. I stand in awe of what those first tiny snowflakes became in such little time. Curiously, analogously, I know already that I must open my eyes (and myself) to find that mountainous immortality safely hidden within the tiny, humble moments that you have left behind for me as torch lights in the dark.

Only when I find it in the moments will I then be able to talk of decades. Only then will I find victory over heaviness.

As Kinnell suggests:

How many nights must it take
one such as me to learn
that we aren’t, after all, made
from that bird that flies out of its ashes,
that for us
as we go up in flames, our one work
to open ourselves, to be
the flames?

Leave a Reply